The Cardinals and Marlins have held “at the least preliminary” discussions relating to Miami’s bevy of younger starters, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reviews. Rosenthal means that St. Louis is a pleasant match for Paul Lopez, though on paper, it is easy sufficient to make a case for nearly any of the Marlins’ out there starters as a slot in St. Louis. Each of Lopez, Jesus Luzardo, Trevor Rogers and Edward Cabrera has seen his title floor in commerce chatter just lately. Miami, nonetheless, does not appear to have any plans to deal ace Sandy Alcantarawhom the Cardinals truly traded to the Fish alongside Zac Gallen within the deal that despatched Marcell Ozuna from Miami to St. Louis.
The Cardinals have a solid-looking rotation on the floor, with every of Jordan Montgomery, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, Steven Matz and Jack Flaherty prone to slot into the beginning 5. Depth choices behind the group included Dakota Hudson, Jake Woodford, Matthew Liberatore, Zack Thompson and Andre Pallantethough the latter two did properly in a bullpen setting in 2022. Further down the road are prospects Gordon Graceff, Michael McGreevy and Tink Hencethough none of that group is on the 40-man roster simply but.
All that mentioned, nonetheless, the Cards may lose virtually their whole rotation after the season. Wainwright is about to retire, whereas every of Mikolas, Montgomery and Flaherty are free brokers subsequent winter. Only Matz, whose four-year contract covers the 2022-25 seasons, is signed or managed past the present season.
In that sense, there’s good cause for the Cards to pursue a starter who will be managed via at the least the 2024 season. There’s certainly some inside hope that somebody like Liberatore, Graceffo or McGreevy can step up and seize a rotation spot when a possibility inevitably presents itself this season, however that is rather a lot to financial institution on. And, even when that occurs, the Cards would nonetheless be taking a look at a number of rotation spots they should fill subsequent offseason — maybe as many as three.
Lopez, 27 in March, has a 3.52 ERA over his previous 340 massive league innings and is arbitration-eligible via the 2024 marketing campaign. Luzardo, even youthful at 25, loved a pleasant bounceback 12 months in 2022 when he notched a 3.32 ERA and 30% strikeout fee, however a forearm damage restricted him to only 100 1/3 innings. He’s below group management via 2026. That’s the identical quantity of membership management because the 25-year-old Rogers, a 2021 Rookie of the Year finalist who stumbled to a 5.47 ERA in 107 frames in 2022, his second full MLB marketing campaign. The 24-year-old Cabrera, in the meantime, has six full years of membership management remaining and notched a 3.01 ERA in 71 2/3 innings in 2022.
None of that bunch is pricey, with Lopez’s $5.45MM wage main the way in which. Finances should not play a serious consideration for the Cardinals anyway; they’re on tempo to roughly match final 12 months’s $163MM payroll, and president of baseball ops John Mozeliak had beforehand indicated the power to extend payroll. From Miami’s vantage level, their projected $103MM payroll can be the second-highest mark in membership historical past.
The Marlins are recognized to be looking for enhancements to their lineup and have been prioritizing middle discipline and catcher courting again to final offseason. Miami swung a commerce for Pittsburgh catcher Jacob Stallings previous to the 2022 season however noticed the previous Gold Glove winner flip in a disappointing .233/.292/.292 batting line whereas his usually high-end defensive grades additionally cratered. Center discipline stays an unaddressed want, and Miami once more seems prone to take somebody higher fitted to a nook (Bryan De La Cruz) and hope for the very best this season.
The Cardinals, in the meantime, are deep in outfielders Tyler O’Neill, Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar possible lined up left-to-right on the MLB stage. (Rosenthal means that of the bunch, Nootbaar is the least prone to change arms.) Top prospect Jordan Walkerwho’s possible all however off limits in commerce talks, looms behind that group. Alec Burlesonin the meantime, has already gotten some MLB expertise, and fellow outfielder Moises Gomez posted massive numbers within the higher minors. Behind the plate, the Cards have a well-regarded catching prospect Ivan Herrerawho does not precisely have a transparent path to an everyday function now that Willson Contreras has been signed to a five-year deal.
Certainly, the Cards and Marlins appear to have aligning wants that might result in a commerce, however there’s additionally no indication that talks are notably heated. Miami has possible mentioned its out there starters with greater than half the league, given the dearth of viable massive league choices elsewhere on the commerce market. Even the Cards and Marlins themselves do not know whether or not a deal will in the end come collectively at this juncture, nevertheless it’s however of some word that the 2 events have at the least held some surface-level talks.